Sometimes you accidentally bite into one of the disgusting coconut ones. Then you realize, through the course of a lifetime, venturing hesitantly, that the entire damned thing has been swapped with the bastards. The culprit? Mom…
At least that’s what Freud would say. At least that’s what every sympathetic look from every psychological personnel in response to my relationship with my Birth Giver would say. And who am I to disagree, when the root of every (if you ask her– imagined) mental/emotional issue can be traced back to something she did, said, or her general sense of disregard and disapproval of me.
“Mom, my hormones are out of control. I don’t like having a 14-day long cycle. Can we please discuss putting me on birth control?”
“You’re a slut!”
“Mom, when I grow up, I really just want to be a mother. I want to stay at home with my kids, pursue my passions, and help them to develop theirs.”
“That’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Mom, I feel hopeless, and weak. My emotions are out of control and I feel like I’m losing my mind. Every day is a constant battle. I want to kill myself.”
“No you don’t. If you wanted to, you would have done it by now…”
After one tearful and desperate plea for help, she started screaming at me, dragging me by the wrist to the door. “YOU WANT TO GO TO THE FUCKING HOSPITAL? YOU WANT TO GO SO THEY CAN STRAP YOU DOWN? LET’S GO THEN. LET’S GO, GOD DAMMIT!” Nothing was ever quite good enough for her, and any suffering I was going through was just a ploy for attention, in her eyes. Certain of this, she had dragged me over to my Aunt’s house for the sole purpose of showing her the fresh self harm wounds I had desperately tried to hide. “Look at this. Angela thought it’d be cute to cut herself up,” yanking on my arm, shoving it in my Aunt’s face. Why are you doing this? “This is the attention she wanted.” Looking at me pitifully, Birth Giver, you need to stop.
I thought the day I moved out to the city would be the happiest of my life. But her words, the sting of hand across cheek when I talked back followed by fervent apologizing, her constant Jekyl & Hyde behavior, and all the deep-seated fractures in my psyche, came along. She taught me that this abuse was to be expected, and that it was acceptable, because she loved me. Not even a traumatic brain injury could erase this knowledge. In fact, after my car accident, I became more vulnerable- not only unwilling, but unable to fight back against my new abuser: Az. He was 12 years my elder, my “friend”. He sympathized with my issues, made me feel, for the first time in my life, that they were very, very, real. “You poor, crazy girl” he’d say.
It amazes me, to this day, how I failed to see the seamless transition from her abuse to his. That it took my mother kissing me on the cheek this past Thanksgiving: the smell of nicotine, her hollow cheeks and skeletal frame wrapping an arm around me. Knowing a second ago where I was but having my first serious flashback. Feeling his lips on me, smokey breath assaulting me. Falling apart the moment we got in the car and doing my best to explain to Brandon what had just happened when I myself hardly understood.
While my triggers range from the obvious to the vague, there is always one day of the year that makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide. A day when I avoid the flood of Facebook updates and profile photos, of gifts given and received, and sentimental sayings. A day when I leave my phone off, wondering why I haven’t just blocked her number. A day where I hide my discomfort, my shame, and envy towards all these happy families. No one says how much they resent their mothers- especially today, right?
Happy Mother’s Day…